There are about a trillion different editions of Monopoly out there all of which appeal to different segments of the population. For ironists there is the Dot Com edition (yeah, I got it). CollateralDamage Jr. owns something like three different Star Wars editions (one of which is a really cool design with place on the board to hold the deeds until you buy them). Apparently the one segment not yet targeted is actually 51% of the population. Thus Monopoly in pink. Ugliest edition ever? You decide. I just hope they gave Mr. Moneybags some gender re-assignment surgery. Hey Hasbro, how about just releasing the Hello Kitty edition here in the US?
Turns out Yahtzee can kill with more than just boredom.
A game of Yahtzee ended with a US man being stabbed to death. Mark Allen, 49, was playing the dice game with his neighbour, 47-year-old Edith Elliot at her home in Tampa, Florida, when they began to argue. Elliot’s partner joined in the row, which then turned physical, and police believe Allen stabbed the unnamed 49-year-old boyfriend.
Great, next thing you know they’ll outlaw Monopoly. Actually that’s probably a good idea…
Texas Stadium in Dallas and Jacobs Field in Cleveland. That’s according to Hasbro, which placed those two properties where the ultra-low rent Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues used to be, on its just-released Monopoly: Here & Now Edition. The company said the new edition “was designed to answer the question: “What would the most popular board game of all time look like if it were invented today instead of in 1935?” (Well, actually, it was designed to answer the ever-popular question: How do we move more units? But never mind that.) Top spots on the board go to New York’s Times Square, which takes the place of Boardwalk. Coming in second to New York yet again: Boston’s Fenway Park, which is Park Place. And not only have the properties been revamped but so have the tokens: the race car is a Toyota Prius, the old shoe is New Balance running shoe, and “the hip labradoodle takes the place of the Scottish terrier,” they tell us. The game tokens also include McDonald’s French Fries, a Motorola RAZR cell phone, and a generic airplane and laptop computer—which means none of the airlines or computer-makers would cough up a fee for naming rights. Cheap, cheap, cheap.
(FYI: This was originally written for a Brandweek newsletter. You should really check out Brandweek.com, I DO!)
- Parker Bros. is going to replace the paper money in Monopoly with a debit card. The new card and card reader are branded by Visa. “Players will instead use a Visa mock debit card to keep track of how much they win or lose. It is inserted into an electronic machine where the banker taps in cardholders’ earnings and payments.” Wonder if Visa gave any thought to the downside of this — like the number of people who would rather have their teeth pulled than play Monopoly ever again.
- When assasination is outlawed, only outlaws will play assasination. The London cops are up in arms over a game that has people stalking and then shooting each other … with water guns. Quoth Reuters: “StreetWars”, which is described on its Web site as a “3-week long, 24/7, watergun assassination tournament”, begins on Tuesday in the capital.The game, which has already taken place in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Vienna, involves players hunting down targets whose details they have been given and then squirting them with water to eliminate them. The Bobbies are concerned the game could spark terrorism alerts. Is the supersoaker a WMD? I played this back at NYU. I got hosed.
- Citizens in Mill Valley, CA (Mrs. Collateral Damage’s home town, FYI), have taken a stand against one of the great threats facing the nation today: Giant outdoor chess. 150 people packed the Mill Valley city hall to protest the construction of an 11-foot-by-11-foot square game board in the city’s main plaza. “Most opposed the idea, such as Cate Wilmoth, 10, who said the chessboard would be ‘no fun.’ Others warned that it could become an unsafe attraction to children who might wander into downtown traffic.” Resident John Cutler thought the board, with its 2-foot-tall pieces, would be a nice addition to the town and offered to pay for its installation. But the plan “drew the ire of many residents, merchants, schoolchildren and even local chess players. They denounced the chessboard idea as a boondoggle that would ruin Mill Valley’s cozy plaza by disrupting pedestrian flow and endangering frolicking children by drawing them closer to a busy street.” And what about all those chess hooligans? In case you had any doubts about whether the denizens of Mill Valley have too much time and money on their hands…
- As constant readers know David "The Book Thief of Lenovo" has a blog. Yesterday he wrote about his lust for a brand new computer he has seen/used. Now you have to understand why I call him the book thief of Lenovo, if you don't already, to understand why this strikes me as so odd. When we worked together back at IDG, I loaned him my copy of "Lives of The Popes" which has to be some of the best bathroom reading ever. Shortly thereafter, he departed to become global web marketing swami or somesuch at Lenovo. (He forgot to return the book, hence the nickname. Our mutual friend Laurence Allen has offered to retrieve said book but I declined because then what would I have to tease Churbuck about? But I digress.) Whatever his title there is no doubt that Churbuck is at least a muck and probably a full blown muckety muck or demi-poobah at Lenovo. So the computer he lust's after? Lenovo 3000 notebook computers – V100 DUDE? If you can't get one then who the hell can?
- Headline of the day: Some apes, birds can think ahead, studies show Ladies & gentlemen, you're next FEMA director.
- The AP falls for the Monopoly myth: "The original version created by inventor Charles B. Darrow, who sketched out the game on his tablecloth more than 70 years ago, will still be sold." As anyone who has read Philip Orbanes fine and extremely readable book The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers, from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit knows: HAH! Darrow swiped the game. The AP is not alone in this mistake, lord knows. Hasbro, which certainly knows better, perpetuates the story.
- It's raining again here in Boston. Time to go sacrifice another politician. Ahhh, that's better. Now I almost don't care if it stops raining.
- Hmmm, I need a five-word synonym for “slow news day.” Ah HA! “Woman Discovers Heart-Shaped Potato.”
- I hate it when they're funnier than I am. From Ideagrove: Tom Cruise's Publicist Blames the Media for His Declining Popularity.
- There are 924 different versions of Monopoly. And all of them suck.
- Press release of the day: Folgers Redefines Coffee Category with the Introduction of Folgers Simply Smooth, the First Nationally Available Stomach-Friendly Coffee. No, really, I insist you take mine.
- "eBay: New Zealand Not for Sale." Just as well, imagine the shipping charges.
- Have you been to Gaping Void.com? You should even though "adrants is my favorite advertising blog. mean-spirited and nasty etc." Some people. He does cool stuff like the drawing at right so I'll cut him some slack. Slack. Slack. Slack. Slack.
Hasbro is releasing a new edition of Monopoly, this one featuring game boards based on 22 different U.S. cities. (Why 22?) One problem: the Minneapolis edition includes two properties which are how do you say … not in Minneapolis. Those would be the Mall of America and Summit Avenue. In addition to that, the company's website which is supposed to show the "famous" (by Minnesota standards, anyway) Stone Arch Bridge actually shows a picture of the 10th Ave. bridge, which apparently is far less well known. At the website people can vote on which attractions they would like included in their city's set. Leading the vote for the Big M? The Mall of America. What exactly does this tell us about Minneapolins?